LMPC were invited to the above meeting to hear about the CLT’s developing plans and ask questions.
Notes of Courtesy Briefing between Langton Matravers Community Land Trust (CLT) Board members and LMPC. Weds 6th October at 7pm, Langton Church.
Present: Barrie Mayes (Director, CLT), Maggie Sutton (CLT), John Wootton (CLT), Steve Watson (CLT Advisor, Middlemarch), Cllrs Loudoun (PL), Christie (PC), Vaughan-Arbuckle (IV-A), Bell (AB), Kirby (MK), Knight (WK) (all LMPC) + LMPC Clerk. Apologies: Cllrs White and Pearson, Collette Drayson (CLT), Keith Coombs, (CLT).
- Mr Mayes welcomed everyone to the briefing and introduced Board members and Steve Watson, a very experienced CLT advisor from Wells: Cllrs introduced themselves.
- Mr Mayes explained that the overall objective of the CLT was to build affordable housing to create sustainability in the district. The aim is to build c. 10 homes in Langton for people with local connections to be let at a social rent. ACTION: Steve Watson to circulate criteria/definition of how social rents are determined. The CLT must be convinced that there is a need. Latest figures from Chris McDermott (Dorset Council Housing Dept) are for 33 households. The CLT will exist in perpetuity, and is a limited company set up in 2017, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. He referred those present to a copy of the Director’s report 2021 which gave an outline of activities to date. Having identified a landowner and suitable site, they are now in a position to move forward with working up a clear proposal for presentation to the community at a public meeting. Community approval is necessary before proceeding further.
It was decided at this point that the identity of the landowner and position of the site should not be made public. SW advised that this is usually revealed at the public (community) meeting. The CLT has developed a good relationship with the landowner and is optimistic that the project will go forward if supported by the community.
3. Cllrs asked questions/made observations of a general nature.
a) Cllr Christie noted that the village is already suffering from ‘building fatigue’, with Spyway Orchard works in progress, and both Crack Lane and Old Malthouse sites likely to come on stream shortly. BM stressed that this is NOT a ‘developer – led’ project.
b) The question of actual housing need was reiterated, and Cllr Knight noted that this would be addressed through the planning process.
c) BM stated that the CLT will have an opportunity to ensure that those with a local connection, according to s106 are nominated, and will help to agree the allocation criteria for this: allocation will not be entirely at the discretion of Dorset Council’s Housing policy. WK noted that there may be changes in the Local Plan to reflect this. SW advised that under-occupancy might be permitted in circumstances where the profile of a ‘local’ household did not quite fit the housing size available.
d) SW noted that the CLT would retain the freehold of the houses and the land, and dwellings would be permanently exempt from the Right to Buy. A Housing Association partner has not yet been chosen. WK said that it would be important to use a social housing partner who shared the CLT ethos. He asked what would happen to the CLT when the development was complete ? SW explained that while the CLT would retain the freehold of the development, the Housing Association would fund, build and operate the housing. The s106 cannot be varied without CLT consent, and the Board would stay in place.
e) Cllrs asked when the community meeting will be held ? BM said that if the landowner agrees Heads of Terms next week, it could be soon after that. JW noted that there would need to be 2 community meetings; one about the general principle, and one relating to design, when that stage is reached. SW noted that yes, normally the first stage is about location and principle, and then an exhibition of the proposed scheme is put forward. IV-A stressed the importance of good publicity for the first meeting.
BM thanked all for their attendance, and especially SW, who had travelled a long way to be present.
WK thanked the CLT for the briefing and the opportunity to ask questions, and SW for his attendance and advice.
The meeting ended c. 8.35 pm.